The Decepticons attack a group of workers at a goldmine, allowing one of them to call for help as they know the Autobots are certain to come to the rescue. The Autobots soon assemble and travel to the mining camp. The ensuing conflict results in the Decepticons capturing and escaping with Gears to the geographic center of Africa, where an imposing new creation, a solar needle able to harness the very energy of the Sun, has been erected. Megatron reveals that Gears is the key to his success, having secretly determined that, among Transformers, Gears alone is equipped with a unique circuit card whose properties are essential for the machine to function. They forcibly remove the circuit card and install it within the solar needle, not only achieving its successful start-up but also altering Gears's usually cantankerous temperament to a much friendlier disposition. The energon collection begins, even with the help of Gears, whose positive impulses appear to make him unable to resist any request or order. The ill effects of the solar needle are soon felt as the entire planet becomes unstable, and the Autobots move out to liberate Gears and save the Earth. The Autobots arrive at the solar needle site, but find retrieving Gears far more difficult than expected as he appears to side with their arch-enemies. Optimus Prime attempts to reason with Megatron, telling him of the Sun's imminent destruction, but to no avail. Instead, Optimus is overtaken and faces termination. Granted a final request, Optimus craftily asks Gears for a good turn and brings out his true colours. Gears damages the solar needle, sufficiently weakening the Decepticons' position to force them to retreat. In the nick of time, the machine is deactivated and the planet Earth and Gears are both returned to normal.